Zoetrope: All-Story

The Seagull

Hanan Al-Shaykh

I raised my head from the book I was reading and saw the seagull looking at me from the sitting-room balcony.

“Have you come back?” I shouted. “Have you come back after being gone for so long?”

Perhaps it was another seagull.

“Is it really you?” 

The eye that examined the world was still a yellow sun, the white of the eye the color of brown sugar, the pupil black, and on the tip of the beak an orange stain, as if the seagull had just finished eating an apricot or orange-flavored ice cream and had forgotten to wipe his face.

I don’t remember exactly how this seagull became acquainted with my husband, who was suffering symptoms of dementia, yet I do know the seagull had visited us every day, and I was so happy.

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